Nigel Adkins has spoken of his respect for Danny Wilson and Chris Morgan ahead of today’s match at Chesterfield.
Wilson, who took charge of Sheffield United’s latest opponents in December, spent 23 months at Bramall Lane before being controversially dismissed in April 2013 while Morgan, appointed as his assistant earlier this term, served the visitors for over a decade as a coach, caretaker manager and player.
Despite acknowledging the presence of Wilson and Morgan across the technical area adds a fascinating sub-plot to the fixture - “Of course it makes it a little bit more than a normal game” - Adkins said: “Danny and Chris are two Sheffield United legends, in my eyes at least. They both care about Sheffield United but, equally, they both care about Chesterfield too.
“Danny and Chris are good people and good football people as well, just like Chris Turner who is chief executive there. They know what the game is about and I enjoy speaking to people like that. In fact, I bumped into Danny only the other day.”
Having been sacked less than a season after leading United into the League One play-off final, Wilson is likely to have been a valuable source of advice for Adkins as he attempts to build foundations at a club fast gaining an unenviable reputation for instability and capricious decision-making.
The former Scunthorpe and Southampton chief, who replaced Nigel Clough at the helm in June, added: “I’ve spoken to several people who have been managers of Sheffield United in the past. I enjoy talking to people as you can probably tell, sharing experiences and things like that.”
Conor Dimaio, who was recently released by United in order to facilitate his move to Chesterfield, is expected to be named in Wilson’s squad while Jordan Slew, another Steelphalt Academy graduate, could also feature.
“We had Conor here and he’s doing well with good people there,” Adkins said. “We were honest with him but allowed him to get fixed-up and I’m made-up for him, I want to see him do well.”
“We had too many players when we came in,” Adkins added. “The pathway was blocked. Sometimes people don’t go your way to begin with but you have to keep on pushing. I want all the youngsters, even the ones who leave, to go on and have good careers. Circumstances happen at every club, be it finances, the pathway getting clogged-up or younger players coming through behind who are better than you. But that doesn’t mean to say it’s over. Far from it.”